Youths will get in Free to WJAC Exhibition Game in Cold Lake

City announces free youth admission to Canada West – USA WJAC game on December 9th

Cold Lake City Council met on Tuesday for their regular Council Meeting and voted to allow free admission to any person 17 years of age or younger into the World Junior A Challenge exhibition game that the City is hosting at the Energy Centre on December 9th. Mayor of Cold Lake, Craig Copeland, says the City has a soft spot for kids.

“Our Council, if you look at us, when it comes to kids we’re a soft touch,” as the Mayor explains one of the top priorities for this Council was to make the City liveable; and by doing so, focus on the families. “We have free transit, over 50 percent of the users are 18 and under.” The City has put a lot of effort into recreational programs and facilities; free admission for youths at the WJAC exhibition game is just an extension of this.

We want the place to be full! It’s an opportunity for families to be able to afford it. – Craig Copeland Mayor of Cold Lake

“We want to encourage the community to come out and support the hockey game. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have this calibre of hockey in our area, so we want to showcase it.” Copeland says the City hopes that by making it free for kids families will have a better opportunity to attend. “We want to see the arena packed and make it a family night out to watch some amazing hockey!”

“We’re going to have a 50/50 to try to recoup some of the costs,” the City is a Municipal Sponsor for the event after donating $25,000 to the WJAC tournament. As part of their sponsorship they were given a exhibition game, signage and recognition at the tournament and events. The 13-game WJAC tournament runs from December 11 to 17, 2016, ending with a gold medal matchup, and will be played out of the Town of Bonnyville’s R.J. Lalonde Arena .  This annual hockey tournament features six (6) international hockey teams composed of players under 20 years old, and includes Team Canada West, Team Canada East, Team U.S.A., Russia, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland.  Prior to the tournament, each team is offered the opportunity to participate in an exhibition game.

Adult admissions will be $10 for the event. “We’re going to do festival seating, just like how the Jr Bs do it, you pay and walk in the door,” Mayor Copeland explains that each ticket being equal, get there early for the best seats. Last year the Canada West team won the challenge with Bonnyville Pontiacs Bobby McMann and Brinson Pasichnuk on the team. This year, Pontiacs’ coach Rick Swan has accepted the position of Assistant Coach. The roster will not be determined until early December.

The game will be held December 9th at Imperial Oil Place, in the Energy Centre, Cold Lake. The WJAC committee is selling a full-tournament package, which includes all round-robin and playoff games (but not exhibition games) for $245.00. This breaks down to a cost of $18.85 per game. Tickets for all 13 games of the tournament can be purchased at the Centennial Centre in Bonnyville.